Northern Territory land councils want NT borders to stay closed

[by Elke Wiesmann]

Image: NLC

The Central Land Council, with the support of the Northern Land Council, calls on the NT Government to keep the NT borders with all other jurisdictions closed until community transmission of COVID-19 has been eliminated in Australia, and to reinstate mandatory motel quarantine for 14 days.


The CLC executive resolved today that “if the government ignores our recommendation and decides to open up the Territory’s borders, it should only do this in a ‘travel bubble’”. People from COVID hotspots anywhere in Australia must be required to undertake mandatory supervised quarantine for 14 days, the resolution states.


It says that the NT Government must implement the ‘Contain and Test Strategy’ in all remote communities, irrespective of what is in the local community’s pandemic plan.


It calls on the government to “implement a community engagement strategy so every person in a community knows what will happen if there’s an outbreak”.


It also asks the NT Chief Health Officer to immediately re-issue an order requiring everyone except for close family members to comply with physical distancing rules in public.


The Northern Land Council supports the resolution. “I’m not at all for the borders to open on July 17,” NLC chair Samuel Bush-Blanasi said.


“Chief Minister Michael Gunner should really be talking to the land councils about reopening the border at a later date because of the hotspots in Melbourne and elsewhere,” he said.


“I’m calling on him to please talk with us and let’s consider a better outcome for everyone in the Territory.”


CLC chair Sammy Wilson added: “The safety of Territorians is the main thing and any border openings must be carefully considered by the government and the land councils together”.


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